Other examples include the fact that the tapered east end of the building presents a respectfully modest face to the river and Bridge of Remembrance. Plus the set back top floor delivers the 45% recession plane required by the city plan so the street to the north is not overshadowed.
And the building's raised base was given a head start thanks to Warren and Mahoney's response to Christchurch's most obvious environmental factor.
"This building isn't on piles, the entire structure is on a seismic-resistant giant raft of concrete, heavily impregnated with reinforcing steel. Partly underground, this also forms part of the one metre base seen above ground," says Coote. "The base was an ideal grounding for the building's speedily installed buckling-restrained brace system, too, which also allowed for largely uninterrupted floor plates."
With the main service and lift core spread thinly along the less sunny, south side of the building, the upper floors are fully open-plan and designed for a variety of tenancy configurations, big or small. The lower floors have an access corridor running the length of the building and are suitable for multiple tenancies.
The ground floor lobby is activated by a cafe and is the main public space in the PwC Centre, while retail will activate the building's exterior at street level.
And the modern office block is as green in terms of sustainability as its fritted glass is shady. Built to 130% of the New Zealand Building Standards it includes the latest in structural technology and mechanical and electrical elements designed to NABERSNZ 4.5 standard. There's even a discreet entrance and serviced showers for lycra-wearing cyclists, encouraging pedal power over petrol power.
On the top floor, Chapman Tripp's internal premises are 1178m², along with balconies totalling 190m². The lower floors weigh in at 1754m². Given the long footprint, the law firm asked the fit-out architects, also Warren and Mahoney, to set up a saw-tooth screen, much like an art gallery wall, opposite the elevators which are halfway down the space. This directs visitors to reception while the lawyers workspaces are behind this wall. A herringbone floor adds to the refined ambience here.